Exhibition Belgian refugees : hospitable Amersfoort 1914-1918

Background to exhibition


    • Picture: Feeding the Belgian civilians after arrival, October 1914 (picture Archief Eemland)
    • The neutral Netherlands hosted over one million Belgians during World War I. After the German invasion of Belgium the Netherlands were flooded with soldiers and their families. Some 19,000 came to Amersfoort, and were very welcome; their numbers were huge compared to a population of 25,000 for this town. 15,000 of them were soldiers and they were interned in the Juliana van Stolberg barracks; these were soon replaced by a new camp of wooden barracks in Soesterberg. This Kamp Zeist was the largest camp of the Netherlands and housed half the number of Belgian soldiers. For their families three wooden villages were built: Albertsdorp, Elisabethdorp and Nieuwdorp. It is not surprizing to find the national Belgian Monument in Amersfoort. The exhibition offers an idea of Belgian life in and around Amersfoort. Rebuilt barracks illustrate the sober living, work, crafts and schooling, discipline, boredom, illness, empty bellies and cold. The finest drawings and paintings of the camps were made by the Belgians themselves, like Rik Wouters, Gustave Desmet and Frans Hoste. Was Amersfoort a good host? Of course, the sheer number posed many practical problems (imagine nowadays!). The good intentions of the Dutch were tested as food, jobs and housing had to be shared. New research by Jeanette Pors (the Kroniek appears ca 15 August, jaarboek Flehite 28 November) shows they found their way together after all. The separate villages have prevented most tensions. Exhibition dates: 4 October 2014 – 4 January 2015 Museum Flehite, Amersfoort, Netherlands www.museumflehite.nl




  • Temporal:

    • 2014-07-31 09:39:32 UTC


  • Source:

    • User contributed content
  • Identifier:

    • 16883
  • Institution:

  • Provider:

  • Providing country:

  • First published in Europeana:

    • 2014-08-12
  • Last updated in Europeana:

    • 2016-07-27


  • Rights:

    • http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

References and relations

Find out more

View at Europeana 1914-1918 .

Can I use it?

Free Re-use
  • Subjects, resource types, genres and forms (Concepts)